Trip 17: Lake Como = 22nd September 2017 = Varenna walking along the side of Lake Como for about a kilometre…..

Harriet and I just love being together and sharing our love of art, beauty, creativity, history and nature. We got off the ferry, had a great look around the concourse, saw the buildings opposite the concourse (See the post of photos and words of the area).  We began  to walk  for about a kilometre along the lake walkway. We had an AWESOME time over this period.  The combination of lake  water, mountains, people and buildings was wonderful. You never knew what was going top be around the corner. A  well earned rest and coffee at the end  was well  worth it !! See the photos below.


The hotel building on the concourse where the ferry dropped us off, was where began our kilometre lakeside walk.

As we started our walk, the first thing we saw was this beautiful shop and table adorned in purple cloth. The owners were selling plants like lavender which have purple flowers. They were selling other things as well.

This boat was a most fitting entry to the house pictured below. The house was up a high bank surrounded by a rock wall. The rock wall and the wall of the house are covered by a heavy growth of ivy. It feels as though the house had grown out of the slope.

This was an area where boats could be pulled out of the water and stationed ready for future launching. It gave a very personal dimension to the lake and the distant mountains.

As we began to walk, houses began to appear as though they had grown up out of the slope of the land and from  the extensive small tree planting.

A moored boat and a swimming duck with coarse gravel beneath it gives wonderful sense of tranquility of the location. Small stones would fall off the mountains and fall into the water of Lake Como. Over centuries, any waves in the lake would cause the stones to moved against other stones … hence abrasion and rounded pebbles and hence the use of much pebbled paving around the villages of Lake Como.


Hydrangeas with broad dark green leaves grow up to 2.0 metres high with big bunches of pink flowers.

As we walked along enjoying the beautiful scenery of water, mountains, buildings and people,  we began to hear this beautiful  music wafting over the water to us. As we came  around  the corner, a beautiful stone arch became  apparent. On a seat inside the arch was a busker playing his beautiful music. As we passed, we placed some euro coins in his collecting box. His music really helped make our day.

The garden on the top side had been finished in an interesting way. There was drop in level of about 3.00 metres down the waterside edge of the walkway. The drop in level was filled in by a vertical stone wall.  On top of the stone wall was a concrete arbour and low rail covered in luxuriant creepers. The low rail was curved and made up  of many swollen little columns to give a formal edge to the  garden. Several concrete columns supported the concrete arbour which then had a mass of luxuriant creepers. It gave a very green soft edge to a very functional wall situation.

On the waterside edge of the walkway, there was a sturdy steel handrail which prevented you from falling into the water, sometimes three metres below.

A canoe moored on the edge of the lake

A fisherman fishing from a small boat

As we  neared the kilometre of walking, we began come upon shops and buildings. There was a large vine that had been planted  against the oncoming wall. This vine had grown to have a huge trunk which had been twisted at an earlier time to twist around and be fastened  on the wall facing the lake.

Another duck on the water ….. it adds to the tranquil atmosphere

Pebbled paving was a common paving surface in villages around Lake Como. This was a far better effect than having plain grey concrete paving. The rounded pebbles were in abundance so I found out with the mountainous terrain around Lake Como. Small stones would fall off the mountains and fall into the water of Lake Como. Over centuries, any waves in the lake would cause the stones to moved against other stones … hence abrasion and rounded pebbles.

A wonderful piece of driftwood log sculpture …… The sculpture had an asymmetric hanging of cone shaped pottery pieces.

A side alley in stone steps and filled in with pebbled paving …. beckons you up to another level. What would you find up there?

  Pavement Cafe along the lake – side walkway

Looking out from the Pavement Cafe at the water of the lake and the mountains rising out of the lake at a distance

 … very restful !!

We came upon these wonderful big wooden doors tied together with  a chain. In the beauty and the whimsical contrast between the timber door, the informal stone walls and pebbled paving, it was AWESOME !!!

After our coffee by the lake, we went up another side alley in stone steps. It led upwards to a new area of shops and apartments. There was whole public parking area paved with small hand cut stones about 75 mm x 75 mm all placed in intersecting curves. They were hand placed and cut vs. machine cut and placed. This gave a very personal and historic dimension to the village.

A Pavement Cafe on this  terrace

A walkway going down off the main path towards the lake.

I was really struck by this beautiful well looked after tree. There was the trunk, the base of the trunk  with the wonderful protuberances, the branches high overhead and the large broad leaves which formed a thick canopy overhead. It was an oak tree.

There was a small church with a stone bell tower and clock.

A walkway going down off the main terrace to the lake …. lets explore !!

Harriet, my wonderful wife as we descend the steps to the lake

The sense of anticipation !!!

Walking along the lake edge is sometimes closed in by stone walls and paving and other times it opens up into sunny areas and a wide path.

Down by the lake, the space really opens up, There is a gravelly beach on which swans survey the area. A fisherman fishes from his boat. See the websites:

Swans by the lake

The path continues on with a rocky wall covered in ivy

A beautiful arbour for a rest and a coffee beside the lake

A beautiful arch in the path  …. covered in ivy.  The space beckons you on as we are nearly back to to where we started at the Ferry terminal in Varenna. We have come a back route to how we first started along the lake shore walkway.

A little eatery you could stop for a meal and a rest from your walking

The hotel at the Ferry terminal in Varenna we first  started our kilometre walk. The restaurant adjacent to the hotel had some interesting items outside ….. a big steel anchor and chain from one of the ferries on the lake.

The  front door of the restaurant adjacent to the hotel

Two big pots of flowering plants add eye catching colour to the  front door of the restaurant

See the villages built out of stone centuries ago, halfway up the mountain. How on earth did these people construct roads and clear house slabs  and build stone houses out of pure hard stone with hard hand – work and animal power?


The end of walking the kilometre or so along the lake – side walking way in Varenna …. there was so much to see !!